Cat which survived 35 day journey from China to USA
The proverb stating that curiosity kills the cat almost came true this month for a Chinese cat which inadvertently launched itself on a 35 day sea voyage after chewing its way though the cardboard of a cargo of motorcycle helmets destined for North Carolina in the USA.
The cat's journey started from the docks of Shanghai on the 3rd of April 2007. No-one noticed that she had got into the box which was then packed into a container and left China. The cat remained in the container without any food or water for 35 long days. The recipient of the cargo, Mr Eric Congdon, the owner of a motosport shop, later reported that he noticed something moving in the crate when it arrived at his premises and he started to unpack it. After further inspection he found the cat. It was weak but still conscious, and not very keen on being caught. He called his co-worker for help but the cat was too scared to allow anyone to come near her. There was nothing to do but to call the county's animal services. When the vet examined the poor creature he was amazed that the cat was still alive. Like humans, cats normally cannot survive for more than few days without water or a couple of weeks without any food. But then it is said cats have seven lives. This cat definitely has atmost six remaining.
The cat, a light-brown tabby, was named China for obvious reasons and she is now in the hands of the veterinary staff. Her adventure is nowhere near complete because after medical checks and vaccinations she will have to remain in quarantine for six months. This is a precautionary measure. The law says that any animals which arrive on US soil without proper medical certification have to be quarantined for 6 months. After the 6 months, Mr Congdon's co-worker who helped in China's rescue, is planning to adopt her. Hopefully, China will be able to spend a happy life in her new home. Realistically, a lot depends if she was a feral cat in the first place, and if so whether she is ever able to settle down with humans. Whatever happens, it is certain that the cat won't be going back on a slow boat to China.
The question remains how did the cat manage its epic feat of survival - 35 days without food or water? According to the veterinary surgeon who examined China it is possible that "cats have such good kidneys, that their bodies adjust to a lack of water, and somehow she must have received small amounts of moisture from condensation."